By akademiotoelektronik, 10/05/2022

[Review] Space Jam – A New Era: A good sequel to the cult film?


★★★★★ ★★★★★

Twenty-five years have passed since the release of the cult film Space Jam in 1996 (1997 in France) and now its sequel, Space Jam – A New Era arrives in cinemas. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee (Scary Movie 5, Back to School) and this time with Lebron James taking over from Michael Jordan, the feature film tells the story of the famous basketball player who visits the Warner studios with his son Dom.

They accidentally find themselves trapped in a parallel dimension where the entire Warner Bros universe is controlled by the all-powerful AI G, an artificial intelligence. With the help of the Looney Tunes, the NBA star will try everything to find his missing son and beat the AI ​​Goons team, made up of the best basketball players in the world.

A good slice of fun

The screenplay written by Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Keenan Coogler and Terence Nance propels us into the universe of the famous basketball player. We discover his (false) family life and a difficult relationship with his son Dom. The father and the son are going to be kidnapped and pulled into the Warner Bros world by an artificial intelligence. Obviously, all this is a pretext for a new basketball match between the toons and the goons.

The scriptwriters developed the theme of filiation, but also that of fun. For the first, the match is made to bring father and son together. The second too, but above all it will teach the basketball player to have fun in basketball, beyond work. The themes are perfectly developed, even if it remains hollow and the entertainment takes precedence.

[Critique] Space Jam – Une Nouvelle Ère : Une bonne suite au film culte ?

And this is where the feature film is excellent. The gags and lines work really well and know how to take advantage of the Warner universe. We find Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Matrix, etc. The scenes where Lebron and Bugs Bunny go to look for toons in cult films from the studio's licenses are hilarious. Note that there is a great scene in reference to Michael Jordan. On this side, the film fills the boxes perfectly. Finally, humor will make children laugh as much as adults.

A simple realization and a rather convincing basketball star

Regarding the realization, Malcolm D. Lee is doing quite well. Its realization is simple when is in the real world, but it breaks free from physical restraints in the Warnerbrosverse. There are still some flaws, especially during the match where the spectators released from Warner licenses look more like bad cosplayers than the characters we know. He still manages to pass a lot of physical gags with his staging.

Even if he frees himself, it's still quite unimaginative. The editing is good with a fairly steady pace. There is enough fun and laughter not to get bored during the almost 2 hours of duration. The animation and special effects are of high quality and easily immerse us in the universe of the film. Finally, Kris Bowers (Green Book, The Bridgerton Chronicle) turns out to be quite good and accompanies the film perfectly while supporting certain crucial passages.

On the casting side, LeBron James is doing pretty well. He knows very well that he is not an actor, there is also a gag about basketball players/actors, and yet his performance is quite convincing. One would have thought to expect worse from him. Without being an excellent actor, he manages to defend the story he plays. Don Cheadle (Avengers: Endgame) interprets the great villain of the film and is visibly happy. He overplays his character thoroughly for our greatest pleasure. Sonequa Martin-Green (Star Trek: Discovery) has few scenes and does the job. Finally, the young Cedric Joe, of which this is the first film, is doing more than honorably in the role of Dom, the son of Lebron. It brings a certain freshness to the whole.

Space Jam – A New Era is therefore quite honorable entertainment. It will entertain young and old for two hours. A good surprise for a nice little family outing.

Article written by Guillaume Creis.

Categories: Film & Series Reviews, Film Reviews